Maria Padilla

Composer: Donizetti Gaetano

Vocal score

"Maria Padilla" PDF 21Mb
Cavatina: Un amore PDF 2MbCavatina: Eran già create in cielo PDF 3Mb

Full scores

"Maria Padilla" PDF 56Mb "Maria Padilla" PDF 62Mb "Maria Padilla" PDF 63Mb
Voices: Donna Maria Padilla (soprano), Donna Ines Padilla (soprano), Don Pedro (baritone), Don Ruiz di Padilla (tenor), Don Ramiro (bass), Francisca (mezzo-soprano), Don Luigi (tenor), Don Alfonso di Pardo (bass) + mixed chorus
Maria Padilla is a melodramma, or opera, in three acts by Gaetano Donizetti. Gaetano Rossi and the composer wrote the Italian libretto after François Ancelot's play. It premiered on 26 December 1841 at La Scala, Milan. The plot is loosely based on the historical figure María de Padilla, the mistress of Pedro the Cruel, King of Castile.
The American premiere took place in 1990 when the young Renée Fleming made her major debut with Opera Omaha. Among other performances, the opera was presented by the Buxton Festival in 2003 and by the Minnesota Opera in 2005.
Maria tells her sister Ines that she hopes to marry Don Pedro, the ruler of Castile. When he sneaks into her room disguised as Mendez, Maria tells him that she knows his true identity and demands marriage to save her honour. Don Pedro acquiesces, although the marriage must be kept secret. After their elopement, a faction of the Don Pedro's court wants him marry Bianca, a Bourbon princess, in order to avoid a civil war. He appears to be negotiating this, despite his secret marriage to Maria.
Meanwhile, Maria's father, Don Ruiz di Padilla, appears at the court. Believing that she is merely Don Pedro's mistress, he challenges the prince to a duel, but is led away in disgrace. Maria visits her father and tries to explain that she is the secret wife of Don Pedro, but her father refuses to listen.
Much to Maria's horror, Bianca arrives at the court, and is welcomed by Maria's enemies there as Don Pedro's bride and their queen. Instead, Don Pedro proclaims Maria as his queen and she dies of joy. (In the original ending which was changed by the censors, Maria grabbed the crown from Bianca's head and then committed suicide.)